The Christmas tree made it’s way out a few days ago. Pine needles dried out and scattered across the floor as the tree made it’s way through the living room to the back door. The kids and I had fun sweeping and vacuuming the little twigs and zillions of needles on a freezing, cold day indoors thanks to the music requests we called out to Alexa on our new Echo Dot, compliments of Santa. The decorations were then all tucked away for next year, the last of the gift returns and exchanges boxed up and sent back to Santa’s station which is ironically the same place Amazon Prime resides. Elizabeth chose to unplug the outdoor lights but they will stay on their perches just a little longer until this cold front passes and gives way to double digit temps.
The kids looked at the space where the Christmas tree resided in our living room and gave a sigh at the emptiness the tree has left, while I gave a sigh of relief that we have made it through. The kids remind me of the holiday’s magic, and deep-down what it is meant to be. The holiday’s deep base is love for our fellow man both friend and foe, of joy, of light-heartedness. Yet when the tree is gone, as an adult, I feel the light-heartedness in that empty space. To have our “normal” lives back. In part, that relief is because the busyness of the holidays is over, and I have space to step-back and really appreciate all that we have to love, to feel grateful for. I truly embrace the little pieces in life that are not wrapped up in bows. Personally, I require those quiet times to reflect, to absorb, to feel the gratitude for all that I have. During the holidays, it is such an overwhelming time for me as a mother. Each year, I try to prepare, to anticipate, to be on top of it just a little more than the year I was before. I do get better, but when it comes down to it, it’s just a freaking busy time. I have to admit, when the tree is down, I breathe a deep sigh that part is over. We made it through.
I don’t like to “make it through” things. I feel life is too short for that. I don’t live for the weekend, I live for every day. And that is the other part of why I breathe a sigh of relief at the empty space the tree has left. I adore our every day lives. I have such gratitude for them. They are not perfect, but are filled with so many special pieces that light me up. Wil never ever gets tired of watching his warm breath on a cold day. He always stops me, “Mom look! My breath!” That is magic to me. Elizabeth has a newfound love for Pinterest and she made a mess of the basement making us all sugar scrubs. I love that mess in the basement. It makes me smile every time I see it because it is filled with her creativity. Katherine is my sweet and quiet soul. It thrills me to see her sitting down with her sketchpad, designing another cat or wolf from her box of colored pencils. “Mom, have you seen my white colored pencil? I need it for just this one part. Look at this cat’s eye I made. Isn’t it cool?” These are the parts of life I thrive on. They are little but oh, so big. They are the light parts of life that carry me through the heavy times.
When my kids stand and sigh at the empty space the tree left, I am happy that they know and feel the magic the holidays bring. We all need some magic in our lives. Though I do not hold the same magic in my heart they do, that I used to hold as a child their age, I still believe in magic as an adult. When I look at the empty space the tree has left, I feel the magic of our every day lives. The magic in my son’s breath, in my daughter’s sweet sugar scrubs and in the glint of a carefully colored cat’s eye. That empty space is not empty to me at all, but a symbol of the space to step back, and reflect and absorb all that I do have that lights up my every day life. It’s quite magical, indeed.